S. Edelstein, B. McEwen, Q. Gibson
Dec 10, 1976
The Journal of biological chemistry
The tetramer-dimer dissociation equilibria (K 4,2) of several fish hemoglobins have been examined by sedimentation velocity measurements with a scanner-computer system for the ultracentrifuge and by flash photolysis measurements using rapid kinetic methods. Samples studied in detail included hemoglobins from a marine teleost, Brevoortia tyrannus (common name, menhaden); a fresh water teleost, Cyprinus carpio, (common name, carp); and an elasmobranch Prionace glauca (common name, blue shark). For all three species in the CO form at pH 7, in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, sedimentation coefficients of 4.3 S (typical of tetrameric hemoglobin) are observed in the micromolar concentration range. In contrast, mammalian hemoglobins dissociate appreciably to dimers under these conditions. The inability to detect dissociation in three fish hemoglobins at the lowest concentrations examined indicates that K 4,2 must have a value of 10(-8) M or less. In flash photolysis experiments on very dilute solutions in long path length cells, two kinetic components were detected with their proportions varying as expected for an equilibrium between tetramers (the slower component) and dimers (the faster component); values of K 4,2 for the three fish hemoglobins in the range 10(-9) to 10(-8) M were calculated from these data. Thus, the values of K 4,2 for liganded forms of the fish hemoglobins appear to be midway between the value for liganded human hemoglobin (K 4,2 approximately 10(-6) M) and unliganded human hemoglobin (K 4,2 approximately 10(-12) M). This conclusion is supported by measurements on solutions containing guanidine hydrochloride to enhance the degree of dissociation. All three fish hemoglobins are appreciably dissociated at guanidine concentrations of about 0.8 M, which is roughly midway between the guanidine concentrations needed to cause comparable dissociation of liganded human hemoglobin (about 0.4 M) and unliganded human hemoglobin (about 1.6 M). Kinetic measurements on solutions containing guanidine hydrochloride indicated that there are changes in both the absolute rates and the proportions of the fast and slow components, which along with other factors complicated the analysis of the data in terms of dissociation constants. Measurements were also made in solutions containing urea to promote dissociation, but with this agent very high concentrations (about 6 M) were required to give measureable dissociation and the fish hemoglobins were unstable under these conditions, with appreciable loss of absorbance spectra in both the sedimentation and kinetic experiments.